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Yes, I Can! 8 Ways Kids Can Confront Challenges

Here are some ideas—especially for kids, so please share—to help them face challenges, whether at home, at school, in camp settings, in community programs, or elsewhere.

  1. Go forward one step at a time. Small steps and accomplishments lead to bigger ones. Mark down and check off your progress as you proceed. It will feel empowering!
  2. You are in charge. Take ownership of what you choose to do—or not do. You’ll eventually have to face the consequences of your decisions. This is sometimes referred to as accountability. However, if you’re uncertain about what the impact of your actions (or inaction) might look like, chat with someone you trust.
  3. Try to see the value. Chances are you only like to do things that you think are worth doing. That is, activities that are meaningful, interesting, or relate to something important, exciting, or intriguing. Maybe these have to spark your imagination, or connect to what you need or want before you see the point in doing them. Find the benefits in moving forward.
  4. Be prepared. Do you need help with time management, organization, or technology? Perhaps you have to figure out instructions, clarify expectations, or set reasonable goals. It’s okay to ask for help. Consider how to break complicated tasks into smaller, manageable segments. Locate a quiet, well-equipped “space,” and get rid of distractions. All of this will help you to advance.
  5. Take time out. Everyone needs downtime—opportunities to relax, play, daydream, exercise, or just take a break. This will enable you to unwind, reflect, pull ideas together, and create new ideas, too. Go outside, breathe fresh air, and enjoy nature. It can be invigorating and inspiring! Balancing busy times with not-so-busy ones can make your day, and your responsibilities, more pleasurable.
  6. Appreciate your past efforts and successes. How have you overcome difficulties before? Compare a current challenge to something you’ve already accomplished, or something creative and interesting that you’ve done recently. How were you able to achieve that? How might that information help you now, or next time?
  7. Look for an optimistic spin. What’s the bright side or silver lining? Replace a negative outlook with an upbeat, hopeful, in-it-to-win-it attitude. For example, think about how proud you’ll be once you complete a task, or how things go better—and often more quickly, and with greater fun and creative energy—when shared.
  8. Listen to others. How do your friends and family members tackle challenges, qualms, and hurdles? You can be motivated by their experiences. Moreover, there are lots of wonderful stories, quotes, and biographies about people who have surmounted difficulties, or used creativity to their advantage. Let these inspire you!

“Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.”
~ Albus Dumbledore (in J.K. Rowling’s Prisoner of Azkaban)

Anyone, regardless of age, can get involved in overcoming obstacles and engineering their optimal growth. Think about other strategies that might help you prevail, and resolve to be resourceful, resilient, and effortful. Bust your buts, ignite your ideas, and have faith in your ability to succeed!

This piece is updated from an article written by Dr. Joanne Foster that was featured in issues of Best Version Media’s Neighbours Magazines, and distributed across Ontario, Canada.

Dr. Joanne Foster

Dr. Joanne Foster, an acclaimed author and educator, has dedicated over 35 years to gifted education and child development. With expertise in psychology and special education, her work empowers parents and educators, fostering creativity and high-level learning in children and teens. Dr. Foster has written countless articles, and several books—the most recent being Ignite Your Ideas: Creativity for Kids.

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